There are programs at Fort Ridgely this Saturday and at Minneopa on Sunday.

There are three programs scheduled at Fort Ridgely State Park on Saturday, May 25:

•Archery — 1 to 2:30 p.m. The sport of shooting arrows has been around for thousands of years. First humans used archery as a way to hunt animals and later as a way to compete against each other. Archery is an activity that people from all walks of life and almost every size and ability can participate in and have fun. This program covers the basics of archery: safety, proper care of the equipment, and how to use a bow. Participants will be able to practice their new skills. Meet at the Upper Picnic Area.

•Digital Photography — 4 to 5 p.m. Photography is a great way to take some memories home after a visit to a state park. Everyone will get a chance to learn how to use a digital camera and shoot photos of what interests them. Digital cameras are provided and participants will be able to print one photo to take with them. Limit of 20 people and children must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up at the park office—prior reservation required. Meet at the picnic shelter in the primitive campground.

•MN State Parks —7 to 8 p.m. Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas are found throughout the state and represent a diversity of landscapes. Each state park also has its own unique characteristics and features. In this presentation, we will cover some of the more iconic parks, such as Itasca, and many found in the local area including Minneopa, Flandrau and Fort Ridgely. Meet at the picnic shelter in the primitive campground.

On Sunday, May 26 there will be two Minneopa State Park Interpretive Programs:

•Swan Lake Paddle — 9 to 11 a.m. Swan Lake is North America’s largest wetland complex, and one of most healthy shallow lakes in southern Minnesota. Take a leisurely paddle on Swan Lake with the Minneopa Area Naturalist to learn how to paddle and learn more about this amazing resource. We will take off from the boat ramp at Nicollet Bay (east of the city Nicollet) and paddle out into the lake for just over an hour. Be prepared for all types of weather and bring water and a snack. Contact Scott Kudelka at for more information and to register.

•American Bison —1 to 2 p.m. Celebrate one of the most iconic animals at Minneopa State Park for a talk about North America Prairie Bison. The Minneopa Area Naturalist will tell the story of how this noble animal barely survived becoming extinct and the effort to save it. Meet at Seppmann Mill. Wear clothing and shoes appropriate for outdoor hiking.

Information is also available by calling Scott Kudelka, Minneopa area naturalist, at 507-384-8890 or by calling the DNR Information Center, 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A Minnesota State Park pass ($7 daily or $35 yearly) is required to drive into a state park and can be purchased at the parks.